Have Robots Destroyed Apple?

Recent sales figures are sending ripples through the world of mobile news. Results of sales during the first quarter of 2010 were published recently, showing that sales figures of phones using the Android system have finally overtaken the iPhone. This movement puts Android in second place overall, with the RIM system (used by Blackberry) in top place.

Although this change in market dynamics has been considered an eventual and natural occurrence, most mobile phone news sources were still somewhat surprised that this event actually took place when it did. The question you’ll find in many of the forums and blogs is whether this figure truly represents a change in market share.

You might ask, “Don’t sales figures represent market share in a pretty direct way?” The answer to that is “yes” and “no”.

The main opposition to the belief that Apple has finally been overtaken by the Android phenomenon rests in the idea that most of the smartphone producers offer deals that can affect sales, and that these reactions in sales figures are more momentary than significant in the long-run. This basically means that launching a “buy one get one free” deal obviously pushes sales figures up. The thing is, Apple just doesn’t operate this way. In fact, such strategies are thought by some market analysts to be destructive to a brand’s status.

One could say, at the risk of exaggeration, that Apple’s strength to maintain high sales figures lies in its lack of deals. More accurately, Apple believes in its products. It considers each product’s value and puts a price on it that is both attractive enough, and profitable enough. When competitors start offering “sizzling” deals, their brand as a whole can lose consumer’s respect, and even trust.

Long-term thinking is what Apple is all about, and although Android is making waves, only time will tell if Apple has the strength to withstand them.


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